Friday, 15 March 2013

Goodies from Paris - plus how to turn a polytunnel into Fort Knox

Sweet treats from Paris
Food, family, friends and time flying... That just about sums up the last couple of weeks here at the Sparrowholding, which have – as predicted in my last post – been frenzied in the extreme due to a (welcome) influx of freelance writing and editing.  As I’m still finishing off the proofreading of a colleague’s 65,000-word novel, this post is going to be more a collection of photos than words: a quick update on happenings in and around the Sparrowholding.

On the food front, I’m thrilled to be one of the food bloggers involved in covering the forthcoming Crail Food Festival.  Part of my mission will be to write an article about renowned local venison producer Seriously Good Venison (of which more another time) and the other part will be to participate in a chocolate making workshop at The Pittenweem Chocolate Company.  I know, I know: it’s tough work, but somebody has to do it...

Still on the subject of sweet things, the photo above is of the gorgeous box of toffee (La Cure Gourmande, no less!) that HunterGatherer brought me back from his micro-visit to DD1 in Paris.  We couldn’t both afford to go, so as HG had never been to Paris before – and is a real history buff – it seemed fair for him to get the ticket.  Father and elder daughter apparently spent an entire day perusing French history at Les Invalides, so Yours Truly reckons she probably got the better deal i.e. eating “les caramels”. Though I rather suspect my lovely dentist at Cherrybank Dental Spa might not approve! 

Back on Scottish shores, last weekend three of my oldest and dearest girlfriends and I had one of our rare (finding a date that we can all manage only seems to happen twice a year!) evenings out to catch up on our very different yet equally manic lives over supper. This time we opted for The Roost near Bridge of Earn (a favourite haunt of mine, which none of the others had visited since it changed into the very capable hands of Tim and Anna Dover a few years ago).  Here’s a quick photo-sample of what we tucked into – and very tasty it all was, too.

Fig and pigeon for starters

Tender venison on a rich pastry shell - with celestial celeriac puree 

Rich chocolate torte with cherry accompaniments...mmm!

And to finish off... a selection of chocolate truffles

 Thanks to the recent cold snap, feed – or rather fodder! – was very much on the minds of the resident menagerie here at The Sparrowholding.  Farmerbruv’s handy feed Blox were certainly going down a storm, as you can see from these photos...

Breakfast is just out of reach

Wha daur meddle wi' me?

Did somebody mention breakfast?

She who distributes the Blox i.e. the bag lady...

Meanwhile, in the polytunnel, HunterGatherer snatched a rare day off from work a couple of weekends back to get some seeds planted – carrots, parsnips, leeks, spinach and shallots to be precise.  After last year’s experiences, he also put security measures in place to stop FatCat (and other indigenous felines) using the newly cultivated beds for wholly unsuitable purposes -  there is now an impenetrable hen mesh barrier at either end of the polytunnel which, combined with the plastic “doors”, makes life distinctly tricky for a portly pussycat. 

Protective measures of another type were required when the weather suddenly went cold again this week: so now all HG’s little plantlets (plus Vinnie the Vine, the spectre-like shape on the right of the photo!) are tucked up cosily.  No doubt next HG will be treating them to an electric blanket!

Polytunnel protection programme - to keep FatCat out!

There be ghosts in that there polytunnel!

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